by William Park

Pittsburgh residents have long flocked to the National Aviary to see its rare collection of birds. This Saturday night, people will have the opportunity to party with them in an event that also benefits the nonprofit.

Attendees of the annual “Night in the Tropics” party will mingle with birds and enjoy music from The Freedom Band and food from 28 Pittsburgh restaurants and bakeries.

Starting at 7 p.m. and ending at 11 p.m., the event takes place throughout the aviary. The bird exhibits will be open and trainers will be walking with show birds.

“It’s a different way to see the aviary, but it’s also a fun way to get together with friends,” said Robin Weber, director of marketing and communications.

Proceeds will help pay operating costs and support various programs of the National Aviary including its breeding, conservation and field research programs.

Those interested in attending can purchase tickets in advance and at the door but must be 21 and over. General admission tickets cost $60, VIP tickets $125, and a group of six or more can buy tickets for $45 per person

Last year, close to 1,000 people attended the event, and this year’s attendance is expected to be similar.